Randall Dunn, "Something About That Night" (figureight)
Former Seattle musician/producer Randall Dunn rose to prominence over the last 15 years or so working the controls for artists such as SunnO))), Marisa Nadler, Thurston Moore, and Bernie Worrell, while also serving as leader of Stranger Genius nominees Master Musicians of Bukkake, who carried Sun City Girls' mystical torch of ethno-sonic exploration to a new generation of heads. Since moving to New York City in 2017, Dunn has gravitated toward the world of film-scoring with more intentionality, which includes engineering the late Jóhann Jóhannson's soundtrack for the new horror movie Mandy. (Dunn had worked on Shade Themes from Kairos in 2014 with SunnO)))'s Stephen O'Malley and Oren Ambarchi, which established his bona fides for creating made-to-order, cinematic aural suspense.)
With his debut solo album, Beloved (out November 9; you can pre-order it here), Dunn finally expresses his unfiltered creative persona. And it's dark, to the surprise of nobody's who's been keeping tabs on his output. The LP's lead single, "Something About That Night," is a PhD seminar in subtly building tension and using space and silence to generate ominous atmospheres. Algiers singer Frank Fisher croons like a shell-shocked Scott Walker—or maybe Talk Talk's Mark Hollis mourning a lost lover—over Jeremiah Cymerman's distorted clarinet and Dunn's chilling synth emissions, which often sound like massive glaciers crackling in the middle distance. Overall, "Something About That Night" comes across like a doomed love song momentously deliquescing. There's a paradoxical feeling of vastness and intimacy evoked in this track—which deserves to appear in another film somewhere down the road.
About the artful, languorous video, Dunn said that it "was filmed by Turkish director Mu Tunç (Diary of Mu) and stars Kubilay Aka and Sahra Şaş. As a longtime fan of Tunç's work, I found a common ground in our two cultures current socio-political climates and in the themes of the song—loneliness, loss, and the feeling of human connection's absence. Mu expressed these sentiments through a compassionate character study of two people who are making their way through a lonely night with all of the pressures of our current age."